taking picture of strangers... ask for permission?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chibitul, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. chibitul

    chibitul Guest


    when you take pictures ("streetscape" photography), are you concerned
    about the strangers appearing in your photos? I won't go and shoot
    someone in the face, but their face may be clearly visible in some of
    the pictures I take. Shall I ask for permission? what do you do if there
    are more than several people on the street, such as a parade?

    I mean whre is the limit? where do people draw the line?

    if someone gets really pissed off cause I just took a picture of them
    with my digicam, I could erase the picture on the spot and make them
    happy. Same thing is not possible with the 35 mm film, unless I open the
    camera and ruin the whole film. What do you do in these cases?

    IMHO, if you don't want others to take picture of you, either stay home,
    or wear a mask. what's the difference is I look at you or I take a
    picture of you??? anyway, I digress, but another post here got me

    comments appreciated. Thanks
    P.S. I posted to both groups since as explained in text, the possible
    solutions are very different
    chibitul, Oct 6, 2003
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  2. Hmmm.. guess it was my post that you started thinking about. LOL

    My take on "People Shots"...

    If I take a photo of a crowd of people such as in a park, large party,
    crowd, etc., in a public gathering, then I don't worry about it. I do not
    zoom in and focus on only one person - if I do, I ask that person's
    permission first, telling them why I'd like the photo (for my web site in my

    I always use digital now. That way just in case someone bitches about it, I
    can show them the photo and delete it. You cannot do this with film, and
    open the risk (though admittedly rare) of someone doing the "hand over the
    film" thing.

    I suppose there are people who do object to their photo being taken even if
    they are 1 in 1000 faces in a crowd in the photo, but if you're trying to
    "hide" from something, being at a public event sure isn't the way to do it.
    In many major cities, they are installing cameras on posts to watch for
    crimes as they happen. In every single mall now, you are on some kind of
    camera in every single store and hallway in the place while you're walking
    around (in some places, even the bathrooms!). Traffic cams "catch" speeders
    now, parking lots are monitored, and more. My opinion is that people have
    two choices in the upcoming years... 1) Accept the fact that your
    photo/image is being captured most of the time you're in public, or, 2) Do
    not leave your home.

    DigitalCameraBasics, Oct 6, 2003
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  3. If someone objects, take out a little notepad and a pen, make a note in it
    while you say, "OK....I'll make a note of that and let my publisher know to
    bury that picture.....Let's see....That was number 16....Don't
    worry.....It'll never get into print...."
    William Graham, Oct 6, 2003
  4. 3) Don't leave home without EMP explosives.
    Constantinople, Oct 6, 2003
  5. chibitul

    Ms. Jaime Guest

    Yes but how can *they* be positive it will never show up in print?

    Ms. Jaime, Oct 6, 2003
  6. chibitul

    Steve Kramer Guest

    LOL! That is exactly what I did when two young women objected to my
    taking photos of them while on a tour. I was hired by the tour owner to
    photograph the tour for a new brochure, and went along with one just for
    that purpose. This was explained to the tour members before we left.
    After the first day, these two young women came over and said "Who gave
    you permission to take our pictures? We certainly didn't!" And they said
    it in a VERY nasty manner. I smiled ever so sweetly and said "No
    problem. Your photos won't appear in the magazine or brochure. The tour
    owner wants smiling, happy people for her brochure so we will only keep
    the ones where people are waving at the camera or smiling and having a
    good time." "Oh! These will be for a magazine?" "Yes," I replied, and a
    tour brochure." From that point on, every time I raised my camera these
    two would wave and smile frantically!! The photos and article will
    appear beginning next month as a two part magazine story, and the new
    tour brochure looks just fine. Unfortunately, there are no photos of
    these two young ladies... C'est la vie! :eek:)

    Steve Kramer
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    Steve Kramer, Oct 6, 2003
  7. Snap when strangers smile. A smile weighs very heavily towards acceptance of
    what you are doing.
    mark_digitalĀ©, Oct 6, 2003
  8. chibitul

    Leicaddict Guest

    Every time you take a picture of a stranger, with or without their
    permission, send me $5, and that will make it all right.
    Leicaddict, Oct 6, 2003
  9. chibitul

    Leicaddict Guest

    No one had to sign a release for publication? No one announced to the tour
    group the reason why you'd be going along, or what you would be doing? Yea
    Steve, you're a real working Pro.
    Leicaddict, Oct 6, 2003
  10. chibitul

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    when you take pictures ("streetscape" photography), are you concerned
    No that's the whole point , you go out and capture life as it happens.
    Absolutely not, your doing photography for you not them. If and only if they
    give you a visual expression of dissatisfaction from having a camera pointed
    in their face then you stop.
    Your not their to make them happy, and again if they are participating in
    public life they have no privacy.
    You can photograph anything in the public domain without permission.
    of you???

    People in public are photographed continually throughout their working day,
    from CCTV images to speed cameras you have no privacy when your out in the
    Joseph Kewfi, Oct 6, 2003
  11. chibitul

    Steve Kramer Guest

    If instead of just instantly thinking that you could snipe at me and get
    away with it, you had actually READ what I wrote, you would have seen
    the following as the SECOND AND THIRD SENTENCES.....
    for a new brochure, and went along with one just for
    that purpose. This was explained to the tour members
    before we left.<<<

    Not hidden away deep in the text. Not buried within thousands of words,
    but written as the SECOND AND THIRD SENTENCES!!!
    But instead, you just instantly scribbled frantically when you saw my
    name, and made a fool of yourself... again.

    Your reading skills haven't improved much in the last 24 hours, Glen.
    Perhaps if we get you a copy of "Hooked on Phonics" it might help. Try
    using your finger to point to each word as you move your lips too. Now
    run along and play with your little camera, and let the pros get on with
    our work. :eek:)

    Steve Kramer
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    Steve Kramer, Oct 6, 2003
  12. chibitul

    dstanton Guest

    The Photographer's Right - A Downloadable Flyer
    Your Rights When Stopped or Confronted for Photography


    The book, _The Legal Handbook for Photographers_, is much more detailed
    than the flyer, and it povides lots of helpful hints in addition to the
    basic overview of photographic legalities. The author's name is Bert


    dstanton, Oct 6, 2003
  13. Nyaa, you say; "I'll have my publisher tell National Geographic not to print
    your picture and make sure that it isn't in the national TV show that's
    planned... Ciao..."
    And walk away...
    Dennis O'Connor, Oct 6, 2003
  14. Read the bio on Garry Winogrand... He photographed in the streets of NYC,
    and often in the tougher parts of town... He smiled and nodded at the
    folks... Always had a big grin on his face that said, 'I'm having a
    wonderful time.'... This usually got a positive response from people... And
    he could shoot without raising the camera to his face if he needed to...
    From long experience he could frame while looking like he was fiddling with
    the camera, not pointing it.. He also was moving forward... Not standing
    there shooting a series of pictures so that some grouch could work himself
    up into a frenzy and then get into his face... By that time Garry was two
    blocks away...
    Dennis O'Connor, Oct 6, 2003
  15. I take pictures of people all the time. Close-ups too.

    Why not? Are you chicken?
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 6, 2003
  16. chibitul

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Only if they are clearly visible and I want to use the photo
    You don't need permission to take pictures. You only need permission to
    use a person's image in certain ways, such as commercial advertising
    (depending on your jurisdiction). In most jurisdictions, there are no
    restrictions on taking pictures of people in public places. This is
    true even if they object to having their pictures taken.
    Public vs. private places. If they are in public, they can be
    photographed freely.
    Or you could tell him that it's perfectly legal to take his picture.
    I tell him that there's no law against taking his picture. If he has a
    problem with that, we can walk right to the police station together and
    the police will explain it to him. If he makes any kind of threat, I
    can file a complaint against him for assault at the same time.

    Most people don't want to go to jail, so this helps them to see reason.
    Correct. Or at least stay away from public places.
    Mxsmanic, Oct 6, 2003
  17. chibitul

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Actually, they probably did. Many tour agreements include a photo
    release. They should read the fine print.
    Excellent! And prudent ... after all, what if they changed their minds
    Mxsmanic, Oct 6, 2003
  18. chibitul

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Take a clue from experience. Has ANYONE EVER asked YOU for permission
    to snap a picture in a public place?
    I thought not.
    Ron Hunter, Oct 6, 2003
  19. chibitul

    polvoronn Guest

    I was told once that the measure of a good ["streetscape"] photographer is
    how bold you are when taking pictures of people.
    polvoronn, Oct 6, 2003
  20. chibitul

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    You're right--the legal aspect is that you can typically photograph whatever
    is visible in public areas. The practical aspect is that some people become
    arrogant about it--especially if they do not understand that photographers
    have rights.

    There are many of us, myself included, that are sensitive to our privacy
    rights being taken from us in all sorts of ways. The photographer sometimes
    stands the risk of getting into a physical confrontation.

    It can sometimes become a bit of a tightrope walk. One has to use common
    sense. For example, I wouldn't be too eager to photograph members of a
    motorcycle gang, if they were opposed to my doing so. Somehow, I don't
    think that they would accompany me to the nearest police station so I could
    charge them with assault . . .


    Jeremy, Oct 6, 2003
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